Pendulum is a duet that swings between images of combat and moments of very close partnerships: a feral terrain where the dancers have the freedom to manoeuvre and interpret the material with their own voice. I created Pendulum in 2009 for Cira Robinson and former Company member, Hugo Côrtes, and until now I remember this so clearly. Cassa and I are so humbled and grateful that Cira has passed her knowledge and thoughtful teaching of the piece to a new generation of dancers. It now takes on a whole new lease of life ten years after it was made.
Originally premiering in 2009 at the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House, London, Pendulum returned to the Barbican London stage in 2019.
Composer: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
Pendulum Music (8 Microphones), 1968
Used by arrangement with Universal Edition (London) Ltd.
According to reports in Elizabeth Wilson’s book, Shostakovich: A life remembered, the young composer was "fragile and nervously agile,” and indeed, Yuri Lubimov considered that “the fact that he was more vulnerable and receptive than other people was no doubt an important feature of his genius”. The seven movements in Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 11 are all quite short, almost fragmented. Each one, for me, has its own emotion, structure and story, except for the last one, which is a combination of the previous movements. There are real moments of restriction and tension within the choreography and music, which tug the four dancers through the space. The detail and the intricacy capture them in a battle for their own territory. It was really exciting to revisit Captured again, five years after its creation in 2012. There are new dancers in the company, which has allowed me to look at the ballet with fresh eyes. I wanted to push the piece further and really define what was important: that sense of unease and the crackle of tension. I am particularly grateful to Cira Robinson, on whom the piece was originally made, for her beautiful yet sharp, dynamic and ferocious dancing. Also to the other dancers of Ballet Black for bringing new life to Captured, at the same time as building on what was created in 2012.